United States District Court, D. Minnesota
In re the matter of John Doe, by and through his parents, James Doe and Jane Doe, Plaintiffs,
Saint Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts, Defendant.
Margaret Kane for Plaintiffs.
Christian Shafer for Defendant.
FRANKLIN L. NOEL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
MATTER came before the undersigned United States
Magistrate Judge on Plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend
the complaint (ECF No. 29). For the reasons set forth below,
Plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend the complaint (ECF
No. 29) is GRANTED in part, and DENIED in
STATEMENT OF FACTS
September of 2017, John Doe began attending Saint Paul
Conservatory for the Performing Arts (“SPCPA”) as
a sophmore. ECF No. 1 ¶ 10; ECF No. 38, Ex. 14 ¶
10. On October 9, 2017, John Doe was pulled out of class by
the school's guidance counselor, Ilah Raleigh, and
informed that female classmates had made allegations of
harassment against him. Id. ¶ 12. Plaintiffs
allege that John Doe denied the allegations. Id.
¶ 13. Plaintiffs James Doe and Jane Doe, John Doe's
parents, were called and informed that John Doe was being
suspended immediately for sexual harassment. Id.
¶ 15. They were also notified that John Doe had admitted
to the allegations, and that there was an earlier incident
that had not been reported or investigated by the school.
Id. ¶¶ 15, 17. John Doe's parents
asked that the matter remain private, and according to
Plaintiffs, both Ms. Raleigh and SPCPA Director Ellen Delaney
assured them that it would remain confidential and would not
affect John Doe's college application. Id.
¶ 16. John Doe was suspended for three days.
Id. ¶ 15.
his suspension, John Doe became the target of bullying.
Id. ¶ 21. Students threatened John Doe on
social media, and an Instragram account was created
protesting John Doe's return to school. Id. John
Doe was also ostracized at school, with students refusing to
sit near him or work with him on projects. Id.
October 12, 2017, Plaintiffs received John Doe's Notice
of Suspension, which stated that:
Three students have reported to Ms. Raleigh a pattern of
harassment that [John Doe] engaged in including inappropriate
touch: sitting too close, touching without permission,
grabbing a student's leg by the crotch, licking a
student's hand, grabbing a student from behind and
groping. Each student has communicated verbally and
non-verbally to [John Doe] that they want him to stop. In
each case, he escalates his behaviors.
Id. ¶ 29.
parties, along with their attorneys, met on October 16, 2017,
before John Doe's return to school. ECF No. 38, Ex. 14
¶ 24. During the meeting, Plaintiffs were asked to sign
a document which stated:“If [John Doe] were to violate
these policies in the future, he would received the following
discipline: 2nd offense, within one calendar year:
Expulsion.” Id. Plaintiffs allege that they
challenged the allegations and asked for all information
related to the claims against John Doe. Id. SPCPA
provided Plaintiffs with Ms. Raleigh's notes related to
the incident, and John Doe was permitted to return to school.
Id. ¶ 24, 26. An adult monitor was also put in
place due to the social media threats. Id. ¶
October 25, 2017, a group of individuals protested John
Doe's return to school. Id. ¶ 33. The
protestors were featured on the evening news, and it was
reported that more students had made allegations of sexual
harassment against John Doe, and that SPCPA was working with
law enforcement and the Minnesota Department of Education to
address the issue. Id. ¶ 34. On October 26,
2017, John Doe stopped attending SPCPA, and started attending
an online school before transferring to a public school.
Id. ¶ 43.